It seems an unusual ‘prize’ for winning a beauty contest, but plastic surgery is exactly what Catherine Cando got. And it killed her.
During a botched liposuction procedure on January, the 19-year-old Ecuadorian beauty queen died.
The treatment was one of several prizes, along with a car and a smart tablet, she received for winning the local Queen of Duran contest last October.
Catherine Cando: Queen of Duran.
Tragically, Cando, a medical student, was said to have felt the surgery was unnecessary, but was eventually pressured into it by the contest’s judges and the plastic surgeon who would perform the operation.
“The jury told me to lose weight when they handed us all swimsuits,” said Cando in an interview.
At the time of entering the competition, Cando weighed 63 kilograms but, through diet and exercise, reduced her weight to the “ideal” 53 kilograms.
But, still, when she won, she was encouraged to undergo the surgery.
Plastic surgery rates in South America are the highest in the world where liposuction to ‘fix flaws’ is the most common procedure.
“Before having the surgery, she received a lot of calls from the surgeon trying to persuade her to do it, but she kept saying no,” Cando’s 24-year-old brother, Daniel Zavala told local media.
‘She was thinking about letting someone else have it as a freebie but eventually she agreed to have it just get him off her back.’